FLINT (WJRT) - (11/30/17) - The race for governor is heating up. Since announcing his bid for the Republican nomination this week, Brian Calley has been outspoken about the Flint water emergency.
He sounded off on Attorney General Bill Schuette's handling of the criminal charges in the man-made public health crisis.
"Did the attorney general get the charges right for the Flint water crisis," asked ABC12's Elisse Ramey.
"No," said the lieutenant governor. "This whole process has been politicized. The people of the city of Flint deserve better."
Calley said he is "not a lawyer" when asked what type of charges he would have levied or if he would have charged other people. He did point to what other legal minds have said about the manslaughter charges.
"I have never seen former Attorney General Frank Kelley make a statement about one of his predecessors and how they're moving forward, and yet he did," Calley said. "He broke that precedent to point out the idea of doing manslaughter charges in this case, that is not appropriate. I've never seen former [Michigan] Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan go forward and make comments and do an op-ed piece on something like this and yet she did."
Calley has spent time in Flint. His office used to be in the state building downtown. The time required him to file a city income tax return for 2016.
"This is still a big part of my life and the follow through is a major priority of mine," Calley said.
Part of the follow through will include a new Pre-K-12 education plan and a goal of filling 100,000 skilled trades jobs in four years.
"In skilled trades, the problem has been particularly tough because our education system has had this pendulum shift where kids have been told for now a while that the only definition of success after high school is going to a four year college, and that's not true," Calley said.
As far as the water emergency, ABC12's Elisse Ramey also asked Calley about the current criminal proceedings. Preliminary hearings are ongoing for Michigan Department of Health and Human Services head Nick Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells. Lyon's hearing began September 21.
Schuette said the proceedings are being dragged out because the attorney general believes it will have political benefits in 2018.
ABC12 reached out to Attorney General Bill Schuette for comment.
Spokesperson Andrea Bitely said, “Just as the victims of forgotten rape kits deserve to have their cases heard, and the victims of human trafficking deserve to be protected, those who were poisoned or even died in Flint deserve their day in court and that is why Attorney General Schuette has taken their case. This is his duty, and he won’t stand down.”
At least 91 Legionnaires' cases, including 12 deaths, were detected over a 17-month period between 2014 and 2015. An outbreak of the water-born illness came right after Flint switched water sources in April 2014.
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